I love home made pizza. I love the smell of the dough as I knead it. I love the rising time that the dough affords me to imagine what to top the pizza with. I especially love the endless possibilities that pizzas offer.
Recently while blog surfing (“blog surfing” = perusing a much frequented blog, clicking on a link in their blogroll, perusing this new blog, clicking on a link in their blogroll, so on and so forth, until suddenly you are looking around in wonder at how you got to the blog you are presently enjoying) I came across this post for this blog event called Hay Hay it’s Donna Day, named such in honor of Donna Hay. For this round of HHDD the recipe of choice is pizza. How could I resist? The pizza stone that I received for Christmas has been anxiously awaiting its use. For this particular pizza I decided that I wanted to do something different from my usual tomato sauce base. I decided to make use of what I already had on hand, so I set out to make a caramelized onion and mushroom topping.
Once the onions had caramelized, the mushrooms were ready, and the mixture was pureed in the food processor, I was faced with the decision of what else would go on the pizza. Knowing that the onion-mushroom puree would be a thick and rich topping, I wanted to keep whatever else I put on the pizza light. Suddenly I got an idea that seemed so delicious to me that I couldn’t fathom putting anything else on this pizza. Still …. it seemed unorthodox enough that I was a little nervous that perhaps it wouldn’t be as delicious as I thought it would be. Also, I needed to be sure that Dan would want to eat it. I explained to him the onion and mushroom puree that was ready for the pizza and he was enthusiastic. Then … I laid on him what I wanted to round the pizza out with. My decision was .. are you ready for this? … apples. I was met with a brief moment of silence, a solemn nod of the head, and the declaration that it could, indeed, be delicious. That was all I needed. I thinly sliced an apple on the mandolin, placed a ring of them around the pizza on top of the onion-mushroom puree, and popped it into the oven. In the end, there was no need to fret … the apples were a perfect compliment to this pizza, which did a quick disappearing act at dinner.
Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, and Apple Pizza
1 recipe pizza dough (recipe below)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp soy butter (Earth Balance Buttery Spread)
3 small onions, thinly sliced
1 pinch of salt
4 cups of chopped mushrooms
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper to taste
1 apple, thinly sliced
1. Heat the oil and soy butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and the pinch of salt, and lower the heat to medium-low. Sauté the onions for about an hour, stirring every so often, until the onions are golden brown.
2. Prepare the dough. (Recipe below)
3. Add the mushrooms and the Herbes de Provence to the caramelized onions and sauté for an additional 15 minutes. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 425F.
4. Remove the onions and mushrooms from the heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes and then puree the mixture in a food processor until smooth.
5. Use a rolling pin and roll out the dough on a floured surface. Sprinkle some cornmeal on your pizza stone or baking sheet and place the flattened dough on top.
6. Spread the caramelized onion and mushroom mixture onto the dough. Place the apple slices on top and bake for 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
(from Modern Classics I by Donna Hay, page 186)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2/3 cup (5 fl oz) warm water
2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Place the yeast, sugar, and water in a bowl. Set aside until bubbles form.
2. Add the four, salt, and oil, and mix to form a smooth dough. Knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
3. Place in a clean, oiled bowl, cover, and allow to stand in a warm place until it has doubled in (I made my dough right after I started my onions and let it rest until I was ready to put the pizza into the oven, about and hour and a half). Makes one pizza.